News Alert
Scarborough South Closed to Swimming

Strategy 5, Organic or Not?: Lifestyle Strategies to Combat and Prevent Breast Cancer

Daily tips to help prevent and combat breast cancer

                October 5 – Strategy 5 – When to buy organic?

                          The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen

How can you know which fruits and vegetables are ok to buy without the added cost of purchasing organic? Every year the Environmental Working Group publishes the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists. These publications rate foods according to which have the highest and lowest pesticide residue to help shoppers determine which foods to buy organic and which are okay to buy conventional. Although ideally every shopper should be able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, the reality is that organic often costs more. By heeding the EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists, health-concerned shoppers can still get the most for their money and minimize their pesticide exposure. 

Lists change slightly from year to year, so it’s important to recheck each year, and more importantly, take a copy of it with you to the grocery store! Why are pesticides particularly harmful for hormone dependent cancers? Many pesticides cause estrogenic effects or effects that mimic estrogen in the body.  The majority of breast cancers are fueled by estrogen so any added estrogen to our diets should be avoided.

Research has established a strong link between estrogen activity induced by organochlorine pesticides (containing chlorine), and the risk of developing breast cancer. The results are significant. Patients with very high estrogen levels due to pesticide residues run four times more risk of developing the disease than patients with undetectable or very low levels. So far, 568 chemical products have been
identified that affect our hormones.

Dirty Dozen Plus

These items are listed in worst to least in terms of
pesticide residue.

1 Apples

2 Celery

3 Sweet bell peppers

4 Peaches

5 Strawberries

6 Nectarines – imported

7 Grapes

8 Spinach

9 Lettuce

10 Cucumbers

11 Blueberries – domestic

12 Potatoes

Plus Green beans,  Kale/Greens

Clean 15Lowest in Pesticide

1 Onions

2 Sweet Corn

3 Pineapples

4 Avocado

5 Cabbage

6 Sweet peas

7 Asparagus

8 Mangoes

9 Eggplant

10 Kiwi

11 Cantaloupe  -

12 Sweet potatoes

13 Grapefruit

14 Watermelon

15  Mushrooms

© 2012, Environmental Working Group, All Rights Reserved.

So today’s tip is buy organic…if you can’t always do so, buy organic for the dirty dozen  and conventional for the clean fifteen.  When I buy conventional, I soak the fruits or vegetables in a sink full of water to which I add a cup of apple cider vinegar and soak them for five minutes.  This is a natural way to help remove
pesticides.  Always rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Reminder: go to www.sisters4prevention.com throughout the month of October for a complete list of all tips as we progress. For true prevention…support the Pink Vaccine, the first preventive breast cancer vaccine.  For more information visit: 
www.thepinkvaccine.com.  Get on the train for prevention…join the thousands that are donating to the vaccine fund.  We are getting close, you can make
a difference!

Watch the Cleveland Clinic’s video explaining the vaccine:




This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Judy Fitzgerald October 06, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Thanks so much Kimberly. The extra cost is a challenge sometimes but the rewards are so much greater. I'm happy and honored that you are enjoying my blogs. My goal is to help others avoid my journey with breast cancer.
Judy Fitzgerald October 06, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Thank you for your comment. Yes, i understand that there are still many limitations with food labelling. This is a cause that needs to be continually monitored. I have a chemistry degree and try to ask questions and always read every label. The net result is that we can do the best we can with the information available. Organic is still the best available option. When possible, I also try to buy from local farmers. Often they cannot afford the cerfification to become officially organic, but I can get direct answers and buy from those that don't use harmful pesticides at all.
Dan D October 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I like buying from local farmers. I simply do not trust the mass market stores to deliver REAL organic produce. Even better is crop sharing and community gardening, but obviously, those have some distinct limitations. For meat eaters, free range, antibiotic and growth hormone free meats is the way to go, even from mass market stores. They are MUCH more expensive, but they taste so much better and are much better for you. You are right Judy, read the labels. People would be shocked at how high fructose corn syrup is in nearly every product. And most of the preservatives and dyes in our foods are simply unnecessary. My son has a reaction to certain "softeners" in foods, such as hershey syrup. New research (and anecdotal evidence) suggests that there is a link between these chemicals and ADD type behavior in adults and children.
Joy Richard October 26, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Healthy living must be an all natural thing. And one’s dietary habits form an essential part, if not the foundation, of the health-promoting lifestyle. And, really, the healthiest food you will get is natural and organic food. Eating organic food makes sense to me. After all, we wouldn’t wish to compromise on the quality of food we share with our pets, or even the quality of engine oil we use within our cars, or even the quality of furniture polish we experience our new family room set; so why would you want to give substandard food to the bodies, which are unarguably probably the most critical and irreplaceable physical resource we’re given in this life. http://organic.dietxnutrition.com/organic-diet-and-lifestyle/
Ted Geisel October 26, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Standford did a study and found very little benfit to eating organic. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/eating_organic_food_isn_that_much_XTtjkpkEDkPF2gJ1bOau3O ""I was absolutely surprised," said Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior research affiliate at Stanford and long-time internist who began the analysis because so many of her patients asked if they should switch. "There are many reasons why someone might choose organic foods over conventional foods," from environmental concerns to taste preferences, Bravata stressed. But when it comes to individual health, "there isn't much difference." "


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »